The Tallest Tears

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(photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

The tallest flowers caught her eye, but it was the withered daffodils that caught her breath and pressed a fist into her heart.

His favorites.

The stalwart sentinels of spring.

Outnumbered now. Outshone. Outdone.

As was he.

After utterly too short a time.

Her throat constricted. A reflex of holding what she’d learned would be a solitary cry.

“Look, Mama!” a child trilled. “The daffodils are tired!”

“Yes, darling,” a woman’s voice returned. “They did excellent work and are resting now, sleeping till next spring.”

Tears slid. It was something he’d say.

She should have known he’d send a messenger.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Thank you, Rochelle, for using my photo for the prompt this week. And, for all who manage loss, especially of those taken too young in all manners of war – may you know that we remember, and we listen, and we will not forget.

Green Grace

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“I didn’t even know where she lived.”

Maya shook her head, agreeing. “Don’t think anyone knew.”

“I did,” Sydney whispered.

Deena and Maya turned to her and stared. Tears made a path through the makeup on Sydney’s cheeks, ruining an hour’s worth of work in front of a mirror.

“Spill …” Deena demanded after Sydney said no more. “You brought us here!”

“Yeah,” Maya echoed, encircling the overgrown garden and weed-filled greenhouse with her arm. Goodness knows the condition of the stone cottage. “How come you know where Rock-For-Heart…” she shrugged apologetically at Deena’s kick. “Sorry, now that she’s, um, gone…where Professor Rockfort lived?”

Everyone gave a wide berth to the gruff professor in musty tweeds and bushy eyebrows. Her snap was prodigious, and her marks were stingy. Why would anyone even want to know where she lived?

“Her name was Grace,” Sydney sniffled. “And she was my great-grand aunt.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Mama’s Trees

 

“So, we go?”

James nodded. Better than pretending that all was as it had been. Nothing ever will be.

“It’s cold,” Maria held out two scarves. A third was wrapped around her neck.

“So, we go!” Benjamin pulled a hat over his head. “You take the middle, Maria and I will go top and trunk. We’ll trade.”

They’d walked a tree home one year when Mama lost the car. They all had cars now, but she would never drive again.

James reached for the first tree. Glanced at their list of in-need homes.

In Mama’s memory, a Christmas Walk-a-thon. 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

Finding Fido

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“Still nothing,” Sally said as soon as Damian came through the door.

His shoulders sagged. The whole drive home he’d hoped for news. He didn’t dare imagine beyond that, but his arms ached and his cheeks felt cold without the welcome of unabashed wriggles and wet kisses.

And to think he’d never wanted “a beast in the house.” To think he’d been so set against it.

Little did he know that a furball in a giant velvet bow would burrow deeper into his heart than anyone before it. Including, if he was honest, the two-legged.

“I taped more flyers,” Sally filled the silence. “And called the vets … just in case.”

Damian nodded over the tightness in his throat.

“Mary is so sorry …” Sally pressed on. “She didn’t mean to leave the door unlatched.”

“I’ve to go,” Damian grabbed his gun. “I must find Fido before the dark does.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

By The Books

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Photo: MoneyforCoffee on Pixabay

 

Now that it was all hers, she wanted none of it.

She didn’t give an iota for questions or neighbors’ looks.

Out went the furniture. The clothing. The towels.

The reminders of swindlers and rooks.

She got rid of the bedding, the shelving,

The whole kit and caboodle in numerous crannies and nooks.

There was naught in the house for her

But memories of pain and emotional hooks.

She cleaned out the lot

And left only the books.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Caboodle in 78 words

 

The Bet

 

“Stop the car!”

Milly hit the breaks and hid her smile. They’d wondered how long it would take Pappy to notice what they’d done.

Only two days … Which meant she won the bet and Ben will be raking leaves all autumn.

When Pappy climbed back into the vehicle, there was wetness on his cheeks.

“Your doing?” he whispered.

“And Ben’s.”

It had taken considerable begging and a promise to maintain the church’s lawn, for the pastor to agree to put Granny’s beloved weather vane atop the bell tower.

Pappy chuckled. “She always put on a good spin, didn’t she?”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo by: Dale Rogerson

 

Spot

 

 

They dug a hole and placed him in it. They shoveled dirt atop. They nailed a plaque onto a post.

They stood and mumbled words.

They bowed their heads.

They shed some tears.

They did it the way it was done.

The way friendships were supposed to close.

And still it did not feel right. That kind of burying. The post with painted plaque. The tidy mound of dirt over their spot.

The next day they lugged the old doghouse and placed it on him.

For rain.

For moss.

For bones.

Even for rot.

After all, Spot loved the lot.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

 

Long Term Parking

 

 

She let them think she didn’t mean it.

Though she had.

If she no longer could drive, then none of them were going to be able to.

At least not with her vehicle.

Sure, it was (another) way of shooting herself in the foot.

No doubt it was petty.

But petty was all she felt that she had left.

If she were to still be noticed.

Life was putting her in long-term parking.

Fine.

She was not going to let others earn more freedom by it.

So she drove the car into the fence, and left it.

And them.

Hanging.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Liz Young

 

Not Quite

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(Photo: Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash)

 

He was, but not quite, a solitudinarian.

He lived alone. His homestead perched atop a bluff where steep trails provided an effective fencing.

He offered bare gruff care for stranded hikers whose calculations of the weather led them to beg shelter.

Townspeople cast shadows on his hermitage. No sane man, they insisted, would give up their company.

He differed.

He came down from the mountain only rarely, for provisions he could not otherwise procure, his expression ascertaining that friendship remained off that list.

And yet.

He loved. The one. Before.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: solitudinarian in 90 words

 

Writing In The Sand

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She shifted her weight and sand squeezed warm between her toes. Heated not by sun – the orb still far too distant in such early spring – but because she’s been standing still so long that the permeating chill under her soles relented to the constant pulse of lifeblood in her veins.

A bird called. Another bird returned. An insect buzzed a disharmonious song. It will be summer soon.

She felt her chest rise in a breath and her eyes skimmed the expanse of shimmering ground, patient, waiting for the tide.

Today, perhaps, he’ll come.

Today, maybe, he will return home from the wild, where waves rose high and ships dipped low to the ocean’s floor.

There was a writing in the sand. A code left by the crabs. The gulls. The seaweed.

She waited. Wavelets licked her feet.

Perhaps today something of him will wash ashore.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge